As a parent, you have certain obligations, including providing financial support to your kid, no matter the relationship between you and your former partner. The North Carolina child support was set up to be straightforward and predictable, using factors such as the number of days the child is with each parent, an “income shares” model that factors each parent’s gross income, and others to establish fair support obligations. Failure to fulfill these obligations can result in penalties, arrest, and imprisonment, which is undoubtedly not the best thing for your child. This is where the need for a Charlotte child support lawyer comes in.
Still, there are times when child support cases become muddled when one parent attempts to minimize or conceal income. Other times, special circumstances may require court discretion and a deviation from the standard guidelines.
Whatever the issue may be with your child support case in Charlotte, you risk receiving an inaccurate and unfair child support ruling without an experienced child support lawyer by your side. Our Charlotte child support lawyers at Waple & Houk PLLC have extensive experience with North Carolina Child Support Guidelines and North Carolina Child Support Worksheets. We understand that you can experience financial difficulty due to an improper determination of child support. Our Charlotte family lawyers can help you in all areas of child support, including the pursuit for fair child support establishment, modification, and enforcement of the award.
Call us at (704)954-8697 to start your consultation.
What Is Child Support?
In North Carolina, both parents must provide child support – this refers to the obligation one parent must provide to the custodial parent for the support and maintenance of the child. In North Carolina, child support payments must be made monthly and in such an amount as to meet the reasonable needs of the child for education, maintenance, and health, taking into account the earnings, estates, conditions, accustomed standards of living of the child and the parents, and other relevant facts.
Under most circumstances, child support payments in Charlotte, NC, continue until the child turns 18. However, if the kid is still in high school, payments may continue until the child turns 20.
If you have any questions about your Charlotte child support case, talk to the experienced and compassionate family law attorneys at the Waple & Houk PLLC to discuss your options.
How Is Child Support Determined In Charlotte, North Carolina?
Under Section 50-13.4 of the North Carolina General Statute, the calculation of child supports shall be decided by the court by applying the presumptive North Carolina Child Support Guidelines prescribed by the Conference of Chief District Court Judges.
The guidelines for calculating/determining child support involve the use of a formula that has certain variables. Some of the most significant variables that are considered for the schedule of basic support include:
- Each party’s income
- Cost of medical insurance
- Daycare expenses
- Number of children
- Time spent with child/living arrangement of the child (primary custody, joint custody, or split custody)
If Parents Share Custody, Does One Still Have to Pay Child Support in North Carolina?
North Carolina parents may be obligated to pay child support even if they have joint custody of their children. When parents have joint custody, they may not have the children for exactly equal amounts of time. They may also have different incomes or contribute unequal amounts towards the children’s expenses, as the parent who pays child support tends to be the one who makes more money. As a result, one parent may still need to pay child support to the other parent.
What If My Financial Circumstances Change?
When your financial situation changes, such as an involuntary job loss, it can be difficult to make monthly child support payments. You can easily fall behind, which can lead to a contempt petition being lodged against you. So, is it possible to have a court order for child support modified?
Yes – in compliance with North Carolina Child Support Guidelines and Charlotte child support law, a court may modify a child support order based on a change in circumstances such as your financial position or a motion to adjust a child support order that was entered at least three years prior to the motion.
However, for you to seek a modification of a child order in Charlotte, North Carolina, you must meet the state’s standard of review – show that there is a difference of 15% or more between the child support payable under the current order and the amount of child support based on the change in financial circumstances.
Alternatively, if your situation does not meet North Carolina’s standards for review, you may still have an option to petition the court for a hearing.
What Happens If I Don’t Pay?
Let’s say you fall behind on your child support payments; what happens to you? If you fail to pay child support in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Child Support Services will come after you.
Note: Noncustodial parents who fail to pay child support cannot be arrested solely for failure to pay child support. First, they must be served with a Motion and Order to Show Cause. This gives the other parent the chance to explain why they failed to abide by the terms dictated by the support order.
If a judge determines that you have the ability but decided not to comply with the order, you may be found in contempt. Upon discovering willful contempt, you will be sentenced to jail for not complying with a Charlotte child support law order to make child support payments. Note that contempt in Charlotte can be civil or criminal, and a different penalty is given for each.
At Waple & Houk, PLLC, our family law attorney in Charlotte, NC also focuses on the following practice areas:
- Child Custody
- Contested Divorce
- Property Division
- Uncontested Divorce
- LGBT Family Law
Can I Withhold Visitation if the Other Parenting is Behind on Child Support in North Carolina?
Child custody and child support are separate legal issues. If the parent who is obligated to pay child support is behind on payments, it does not give the other parent the right to withhold visitation that is required under the custody agreement. In fact, withholding custody may place the parent in contempt of a court order, which has significant legal consequences. If you are not receiving the child support you were ordered to receive, talk to our skilled Charlotte family law attorneys about your rights to pursue collection methods. In the meantime, do not interrupt visitation time, or violate your custody agreement.
How Do I Find The Best Child Support Lawyer For My Case?
When you’re a parent, few things get you riled up as your kids. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to refuse to pay child support. That’s a big reason why child support cases are often antagonistic and intense. After all, you want to fight for what’s best for your kids. To ensure this, you need an experienced and reliable child support lawyer in Charlotte – one who will look out for your kids’ best interests from the get-go.
But how do you find the best child support lawyer for your case in Charlotte? And how can they help with your case? Choosing a good Charlotte child support lawyer can be challenging, partially because of the many emotional issues that emerge during proceedings.
If you’re looking to hire a child support lawyer near you or anywhere in North Carolina, consider the following qualities to identify compassionate, qualified, and experienced candidates:
Similar case experience
Whatever the particulars of your child support case, you’ll want to hire a lawyer who is equipped and prepared to handle your case. Look for a lawyer with experience in areas your circumstances require.
Specialization in child support cases
Specialization is something to consider when looking for the best child support lawyer. Many family law attorneys are adept in multiple areas, but if a lawyer only specializes in handling domestic violence cases, they may not be the right choice.
Knowledge of Charlotte and North Carolina laws
Many laws and regulations vary greatly from state to state. The best child support lawyer for your situation is one who with extensive knowledge of the rules and regulations of where you live.
Ability to listen and communicate
Your lawyer is someone you have to communicate with, but they also need to listen and communicate on your behalf with your ex, other attorneys, the judge, and other opposing parties. Ensuring your comfortable with your attorney’s communication skills is key. When you’re already dealing with conflict, avoiding strife with your attorney makes everything easier.
Child support cases are often intense. The best child support in Charlotte for your case may be one who understands this and recognizes what’s at stake for you and your children.
Tips to help you find the best child support lawyer in Charlotte:
- Ask family and friends for referrals
- Interview several child support lawyers in Charlotte
- Ask specific questions such as: What is your fee structure? Can you provide references? etc
Why You Need A Child Support Lawyer For Your Case
Whether you’re an unmarried parent seeking child support or you’re determining child support after a divorce in Charlotte, a child support lawyer can make the process less stressful for you. Disputes involving kids and money can quickly intensify and become violent and turn towards considering child custody. An experienced Charlotte child support lawyer can assist with all court proceedings and provide an overall knowledge of child support laws in North Carolina.
Here at the Waple & Houk PLLC, we can provide an assessment of your case and perform numerous tasks for you, including but not limited to:
- Filing all paperwork in a timely manner
- Assist in establishing the child’s paternity
- Answer a child support petition
- Locate the other parent
- Subpoena the noncustodial parent’s financial info and document any income the other parent receives
- Serve your ex with a legal notice that you want child support
- Enter into negotiations on your behalf
- Safeguard your kids’ rights to benefits and public education
- Explain the tax implications of a child support order in Charlotte
Call Our Charlotte Child Support Lawyers Today for Help with Your Child Support Case
Child support is a hot-button issue. It’s tough; because, when it comes to your kid’s welfare, both of you – you and your spouse – want what’s best for them. You just don’t agree on what that is. And that’s where an experienced child support lawyer comes in. If you have any questions about your Charlotte child support case, modifying a child support order, or enforcing a child support order, contact the compassionate child support attorneys at the Waple & Houk PLLC. Call us at (704)954-8697 for a consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Our Child Support Attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina
If the Other Parent Does Not Live in North Carolina, Can I Still Pursue Child Support?
Yes. One parent’s obligation to support his or her children does not disappear simply because he or she moved out of the state of North Carolina. The same is true for parents across the country, even if you have no idea where to locate him or her. Various tools may be used to locate noncustodial parents. Providing information about the other parent, such as the person’s date of birth, social security number, or last known address, can assist in locating the person, and pursuing him or her for past, current, and future child support payments.
How Can I Estimate the Amount of North Carolina Child Support I Will Owe After Ending My Relationship with the Other Parent?
Online calculators allow parents to estimate North Carolina monthly child support payments for their unique circumstances. They should be used for estimation purposes only, as the actual amount will be determined based on their real-time financial standing, shared parenting time, and other factors.
- Calculator if one parent has primary custody.
- Calculator if the parents have joint custody.
- Calculator if the parents have split custody.
What is the Minimum Amount that a Parent Can Be Ordered to Pay in Child Support Per Month in North Carolina?
The North Carolina Child Support Guidelines require a minimum child support order of $50 per month.
How Long Does Child Support Last in North Carolina?
North Carolina law states child support obligations end when a child turns 18, or graduates from high school, whichever is later, but not past age 20.
Can Parents Agree that Child Support Will Be Paid Until a Child Graduates From College?
Parents can make certain child support agreements in a separation agreement or consent order, which may include supporting a child through college or continue to support a child with special needs. Any legally valid agreement made between the parents is binding.
Am I Still Responsible for Any Past Due Child Support Payments Once My Child Reaches Age 18 or Graduates from High School?
Yes. If arrears are owed after the child reaches the age of 18 and has graduated from high school, child support payments continue in the same amount until all arrears are paid.
Am I Still Required to Pay Child Support in North Carolina if I Find Out I am Not the Father?
In most North Carolina child support cases, parentage is determined before the payment amount is ordered. This may include taking a DNA test to ensure the male is the father, before ordering him to pay child support. However, in some cases, like those where the couple never married, and it was assumed he was the father, and it is later revealed that he is not the biological father of the child, he can file a Motion for Relief within one year of discovering that is true.